Block9 and Create Jobs announce new programme which will provide young Londoners with experience in festival production to support diverse voices into the industry.

Whilst campaigns to even out the representation on festival stages have been joined by over 190 festivals, off-stage there’s still a lot of work to be done to support diverse talent into roles which create a festival.

13% of people working in the creative industries are from a working-class background, compared to 22% of the total working population and when you look at sectors like design, 89.5% of workers are white and 60% male. This is then mirrored in the audiences we see. 44% of live music performance audience members are dominated by the least diverse 8% of the population despite 70% of adult and 84% of young adults saying music was important to them.

That’s why employability programme Create Jobs have partnered with Block9 on Creativity Works: Festival Makers. Creativity Works: Festival Makers will support 20 young Londoners through an intense 7-week learning programme. Over the period they will gain skills in set design, programming, sponsorship, marketing and production, learning from a range of speakers including Paula Clarke, Director of Operations at Block9. The participants will also be able to apply for select paid work placements at the Block9 field at Glastonbury Festival 2020.

Creativity Works is a Mayor’s Fund for London programme, supported by Berkeley Foundation and Citi Foundation. Over 100 young Londoners a year take part in 6 to 12-week intensive training programmes, work experience, live briefs and masterclasses. They develop contacts, knowledge and the confidence needed to get their careers going - it's the perfect next step after school, college, university, or even your first job. Over 80% of Creativity Works participants go on to paid employment or further training in the creative sector.

Creativity Works: Festival Makers will begin in Spring 2020 with applications opening shortly before. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest info on this and other programmes.

“We are really excited to be working alongside Create Jobs as part of the Creativity Works programme. The team at Block9 have a real passion for working with young people, helping develop their skills across a number of different disciplines in order to lead on to sustainable futures in the creative industries.”

Paula Clark, Director of Operations, Block9

“For young people who are BAME, LGBTQ+, d/Deaf and disabled, and/or from low-income families, getting paid work in the creative sector can be extremely challenging. That’s why we’re excited to collaborate with Block9 on Creativity Works: Festival Makers to provide 25 diverse Londoners with the chance to gain skills in festival and event production with the opportunity to apply for paid placements at the end of the programme. It's exactly these types of equitable measures that change the status quo - we hope this will open the gateway for other creative organisations like Block9 to challenge the lack of diversity in the sector and find practical solutions which support people from underrepresented backgrounds into paid work.”

Oliver Benjamin, Director of Employment and Skills, Create Jobs